A batch of classic Strawberry Jam Thumbprint Cookies is a family favorite recipe. Made with an easy shortbread cookie dough and filled with strawberry jam.
These sweet little bites are also known as jam drop biscuits. I love to keep it classic by using strawberry jam but they can also be filled with other jam variations such as raspberry, boysenberry, and apricot. I have also filled thumbprints with a homemade Classic Lemon Curd in these Lemon Curd Shortbread Cookies.
Another delicious filling to try out is passionfruit in these Gluten Free Passionfruit Curd Thumbprint Cookies. That recipe is a great one to have on hand if you’re looking for a gluten free thumbprint cookie recipe.
Table of Contents
🍓 Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Melt in your mouth shortbread cookies are tender and soft.
- Sweet strawberry jam is classic and pairs perfectly with the delicate cookie base.
- An easy recipe that makes many cookies using only 7-ingredients.
📋 Ingredient Notes
Butter: You must first bring the butter down to room temperature until it’s soft. This makes it easier to cream the butter and sugar together. Read here about my preferred method on how to accurately measure your butter.
Caster sugar: I prefer to use golden caster sugar (also known as raw caster sugar) as opposed to regular white caster sugar. However, for this recipe, either will work just fine.
Egg: Ensure your egg is also at room temperature. This helps it emulsify with the creamed butter and sugar.
Strawberry jam: This is the classic jam to use in thumbprint cookies. I welcome you to get creative if you desire by using different flavored jams such as raspberry, boysenberry, blueberry, and apricot.
🥣 Step By Step Instructions
1) In a large mixing bowl, using either electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add softened butter.
2) Beat butter for a few seconds to break it up and it begins to turn creamy. This makes it easier on your beater when the sugar is added.
3) Add sugar and vanilla. Beat on high for 2 minutes until the mixture turns light/pale and creamy.
4) Add egg and beat for 15 seconds until well combined.
5) Sift over flour and baking powder. Beat until a soft dough forms, about 20 seconds.
6) Bring the dough together into a ball/disc using your hands or a spatula. Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
7) Pick up two teaspoons worth of dough weighing about 15g each (0.5oz) and roll into a smooth ball. Place on lined sheet.
8) Slightly flatten the dough ball into a disc using your palm or fingers.
9) Create the indent by pressing your index finger joint into the disc. You can use your thumb to create the indent or the handle of a wooden spoon. Creating the indent as soon as you flatten it into a disc, prevents the dough from cracking.
EXPERT TIP: I have tried all the ways of creating the indent for thumbprint cookies/jam drops. The best way I have come across is this technique of pressing your index finger joint into the dough disc instead of using your thumb print. This minimizes cracks from occurring in the shortbread dough. If your dough does crack, simply push the dough back together to seal it up.
10) Fill each indent with strawberry jam.
11) Bake for 10-12 minutes until very lightly golden around the edges. The majority of the cookie will still be pale.
12) Serve and enjoy!
💭 Tips & Substitutions
- The butter must first be brought down to room temperature until it’s soft before starting the recipe. This makes it easier to beat and cream with the sugar.
- To create the indent for the jam I have tried all of the ways. The best method that I have discovered is the technique of pressing your index finger joint into the dough disc instead of using your thumb. Refer to the process images in the post for a visual. Because they’re called thumbprints, doesn’t mean we have to use our thumb. When I used to use my thumb, it created more cracks!
- Swap the strawberry jam for flavors such as raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, apricot, or lemon curd.
🌡️ How To Store
- Store cookies in an airtight container, in a dry dark pantry, for 1 week.
- Freeze cooled cookies in an airtight container, either in one layer or layered with parchment paper in-between. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Defrost by thawing cookies still in the container in the refrigerator overnight or on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
Fill thumbprints with jam before baking. These cookies are only small without a large quantity of jam in each, therefore the shortbread doesn’t take long to bake. The jam won’t burn or bubble up too much in the oven during that time.
Thumbprint cookies can crack if the shortbread dough is too dry or if it has been sitting on the baking sheet for too long before you make the indent. Make sure to create the indent right after you roll each cookie instead of forming all of the cookies and then making the indents. If your dough does crack, simply press the crack back together.
Using your thumb can also cause the cookies to crack as your thumb can be bigger than the cookie itself, which makes a larger indent that will cause cracks.
That is why I love using the index finger joint method in this recipe.
Chilling the dough before forming the cookies will help stop them from spreading too much. The cookies are created with a large amount of butter which melts in the hot oven. If the cookie dough is too warm before they go into the oven, they’re more likely to spread as the butter is already too warm. When the dough is chilled, it takes longer for the butter to melt in the oven therefore less likely to spread.
Be sure to never place cookies onto a hot baking sheet before placing them in the oven. Always make sure the baking sheet is at room temperature.
As they only have a small amount of jam, they do not need to be refrigerated. Store jam thumbprint cookies in an airtight container in a dry dark pantry. If your home or pantry is too warm or humid, it’s best to store the cookies in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can. After they have finished baking, cool them to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container either in one layer or stack them with a sheet of parchment paper between the layers of cookies. Place the container in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost the cookies by transferring the container to the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Then thaw them further if needed on the kitchen counter at room temperature.
🥄 Related Recipes
Strawberry Jam Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
- 180 g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup golden or white caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature (weighing approx. 55g-60g in shell)
- 2 cups plain all purpose flour scoop & leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup store-bought strawberry jam can also use homemade
- In a large mixing bowl, using either electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add softened butter.
- Beat butter for a few seconds to break it up and it begins to turn creamy. This makes it easier on your beater when the sugar is added.
- Add sugar and vanilla. Beat on high for 2 minutes until mixture turns light/pale and creamy. Scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add egg and beat for 15 seconds until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
- Sift over flour and baking powder.
- Beat until a soft dough forms, about 20 seconds. Scraping down the sides as needed.
- Bring the dough together into a ball/disc using your hands or a spatula.
- Transfer bowl with dough inside to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. TIP: if your bowl is too large for your fridge, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge without the bowl.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC fan-forced (356ºF fan-forced). Line a large baking tray/sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Pick up two teaspoons worth of dough weighing about 15g each (0.5oz) and roll into a smooth ball. Place on lined sheet.
- Slightly flatten the dough ball into a disc using your palm or fingers (refer to process images above in post).
- Create the indent by pressing your index finger joint into the disc (refer to process images above in post for a visual). You can use your thumb to create the indent or the handle of a wooden spoon.
- Repeat above process with remaining dough, creating the indents as soon as you flatten each into a disc as it will help prevent the dough from cracking.
- Fill each indent with strawberry jam.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until very lightly golden around the edges. The majority of the cookie will still be pale.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes.
- Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy!